In The US, Legal Medical Marijuana Does Not Increase Consumption Among Teenagers

The legalization of cannabis from the therapeutic point of view in the US has not led to increased substance use by adolescents, the researchers at Columbia University in New Yorkreport.


The new analysis is the most comprehensive study to date to answer a question much debated: the legalization of cannabis can bring more and more teenagers to use it? The study found that states that had legalized the medical use were actually the ones who had the highest rates of cannabis use among teenagers before enacting the laws, compared with states where the drug remains illegal.

The report, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, covered a period of 24 years and was based on the survey of more than a million teenagers in 48 states. One of the main concerns that have accompanied the debate on the legalization of cannabis in the USA was that the easing of restrictions on cannabis and the opening of many pot dispensaries would send the wrong message to young people, and make the drug more available and more attractive.

"There is a war going on cannabis, and I believe that both sides have made mistakes in interpreting the data", said for the New York Times the Dr. Kevin Hill, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and director of the service counseling on substance abuse at McLean Hospital.